week 24 – chaos

Chaotic really is the only way to describe the final week of term.

I hosted a really successful multi-disciplinary team meeting at some point in the week. It’s something that apparently used to happen years ago, and it was nice to resurrect it. Getting outside agencies to sit and talk – and see how many are involved in each student – is invaluable. I had SaLT, HI, VI, CLDT and OT around the table, with the Ed Pysch promising to attend next time.

I’ve done non stop referral forms – mostly as a result of the meeting! OT, CAHMS, ASD diagnosis – it amazes me how many of my students display clear ASD traits and yet do not have a diagnosis, usually parents report this as primary schools deciding a diagnosis/label was not necessary. Our student who displays the most ASD traits does not have that label, to the shock of all concerned. It’s that time of year when problems start to surface, as we see who is not going to cope with either transition or the long summer holiday. If only we could change to terms of set lengths and holidays better spaced (lengthwise) throughout the year.  Oh, I also had a social worker call right at the end of today to see how a student was getting on – she missed me, I couldn’t get her on the mobile so I’ve just sent her the paperwork from the Annual Review, which was only last week had she bothered to attend…

And then, to top it off, I have shown FIVE sets of parents this week, all looking for spaces for their children in September. One in Y7, three in KS3 and one in KS4. I wish they were told to contact me as soon as they start the statementing process, instead of waiting until the first draft is just about ready. That way we could have accepted these students on an assessment place and brought them in for the two transition days. As it is, I’ve only heard back positively from three of them, so I can at least begin to plan transition for those students. Straight in in September seems a little harsh!

I presented to Governors as well about the things that I have been doing this term. I think it’s almost easier to say what I haven’t been doing. I also discovered that the capacity for our new build is ten less than our current capacity. That’s crazy bad planning.

And now, it’s the holiday. A couple of weeks of not thinking about work and then it’s back to the office to start setting up everything for September – not helped by not knowing who will be in charge when we return, as HT currently not at work. Hmm. And as if that wasn’t enough, I’ve got two 4000 word essays for my SENCo Award to write!

Happy holiday everyone!

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#100WCGU #141 – in the garden

This week the prompt for 100 Word challenge was ‘…but there are so many seeds…’


“But there are so many seeds!” she exclaimed as she flipped through the catalogue. “Who’s idea was this again?”

They had taken advantage of the bank holiday weekend to redesign the garden. The undergrowth had been cleared, and everything stripped back to bare earth. Now came the matter of deciding what to plant, and where. Was it to be a vegetable garden or a wildflower garden, since it was difficult to imagine both fitting in the small space. Or just grass to rest on in the long cool evenings?

They settled on a range of vegetables – beans, peas, carrots and lettuces – and set up the slug defences.


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Week 23 – nearly there

Just one more week to go…
Transition was much better this week, having given staff a list of activities they could do ask of the students were purposefully occupied. One of the TAs has kindly put up photos of the new students in the staffroom so we can all learn their names. There are (only) 20, although by the end of next wk there might be another, transitioning from mainstream (it’s a bit late…)
Went to a consultation meeting with the mental health service, that was interesting, and somewhat saddening to hear that camhs only goes to 17, despite school going beyond that, and the admission that those with EHC plans will have to be picked up by adult services at 18 where applicable and that adult services have a higher threshold for getting support. So much for joined up thinking.
Otherwise, I think I’ve mostly been chasing people for end of term data (which is just not reliable) and checking reports. There must be a better way, something to explore for next year I think.

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Having Choices

Originally posted on Dreaming With Your Feet:

The Connection field trip to Garden Cove Produce

The Connection field trip to Garden Cove Produce

For some reason, people tell me their problems. I avoid eye contact with people beside me on airplanes or in line at the dry cleaners because next thing I know, they are telling me about their awful spouses or their problems with work. I have found myself caught in conversations with complete strangers about the most personal of topics, like the time I was minding my own business at an Alabama football game and a woman proceeded to tell me all about her menstrual cycle, in gory detail. Completely unsolicited …

My friends used to unburden themselves to me like I was Dr. Phil or something. When I was younger, I was an enthusiastic audience for my friends’ complaints and worries, happy to dispense my sage wisdom while telling myself that I must have my shit together or else they wouldn’t be…

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July 2014

I’ve been a bit busy this week.  Twilight photo for you


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Loom Bands – A Social Anthropology

Originally posted on jonnywalkerteaching:

As is widely known by anybody who works in any primary school, or even anybody who has attended one, primary schools are social spaces which are prone to life-consuming fads. I am not speaking her about Mindfulness or Learning Styles theory but about playground crazes. In my hazy memories of concrete joy, play time was a time to swap Pogs, to swap wrestling cards, football cards and the most prevalent craze among them all, Pokemon Cards. 

There is an interesting uniformity to the way in which these crazes operate, which I think – from my overly academic point of view – hold a lot of social significance. 

Today, we talk about Loom Bands, those annoying things the children fiddle with under the desk whilst I am trying to teach them how to read. Loom Bands are fairly cute, which is possibly why teachers have allowed them to proliferate more than with…

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week 22 – exhausted

I am so tired it’s not funny, and we STILL have two weeks to go!

It was announced on Monday that the head is off sick for the rest of term, and there appears to be a question over whether or not he will return. With one the deputies (who is leaving at the end of term) out sick again, it fell to three of us to run the school.

We’ve got a lot done, but it’s been non stop. My role changes again as a result of dropping 2/5 of SLT – and it seems I lose my little bit of sanity which was overseeing KS3. I’m not happy about that, nor am I happy about some of the things that I am being expected to pick up, but I guess that’s life.

Transition for the whole school was variable this week. I had expected, somewhat naively, that my teachers would be able to work with their new classes for a morning with an exciting range of activities – I was rather disappointed to find a couple of groups watching DVDs! That’s not how to get to know your class for next year, is it?

I finished my Annual Reviews today – that’s 33 at my last school and just over 70 at this… anyone else done over 100 Annual Reviews this year? It’s been great fun, but I’m hoping to spread the load a little more next year.

We had parents evening last night (so late in the term, I really don’t understand why) but it did throw up a need for an emergency CAMHS referral – first job this morning and then chased it up this afternoon and will continue to do so until I know we are getting somewhere.

Oh, and to top it all there was a fight, with blood – and guess who was left to clean that up! It’s never dull, is it?

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